Jehovah`s Witness/Hebrews 10:26
QUESTION: Hello once again Derrick. I hope I'm not pestering you, but I value your insight of what the bible really teaches.
I was talking to Jw 'A' today about why they place such importance on their no blood doctrine, after all isn't it just another sin to avoid? He stated that some sins are unforgivable. Really, I thought Jesus paid for all our sins. He said no and showed me the verse Hebrews 10:26 that if you willfully sin when you have knowledge there is no longer any sacrifice for sin left. Supposing that's true I pointed out to him how he willfully lies to me among other sins that he willfully commits and how his hopes for salvation should be in jeopardy according to his flawed logic.
What does the bible really teach on this matter?
Thanks again and God bless. Kevin.
ANSWER: Hello Kevin. I hope you are having a good day.
Well, this is another classic case of your JW co-worker twisting the Scripture, for his own convenience. The Bible does NOT say that "some sins are unforgivable". It mentions ONE sin, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, that is unforgivable. And that isn't because the blood of Jesus is not powerful enough to cleanse that sin, but because the person committing that sin, has ultimately denied Jesus Christ and the convicting work of the Holy Spirit. A person who has blasphemed the Holy Spirit, will not care, nor have any interest in being right with God.
Let's look at the verse in question.
Hebrews 10:26- "For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,"
Now, the verse does NOT say that there are some sins that are unforgivable. Ask this dude if he has ever committed an intentional sin, even after becoming a JW, and see what he says. And as you mentioned, you asked him about willfully lying to you. I would like to know how he answered that.
No, this passage simply is referring to the fact that, if we continue a practice of sin after KNOWING the truth about Christ, and reject His shed blood, then the sacrifice of Christ is not doing us any good. It does not mean that we cannot repent of that sin, turn from it, and find forgiveness. In fact, the Scripture clearly teaches that we can....In several places. I will list 2....
Ezekiel 18:23-28- "Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?
But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.
Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?
When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die.
Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.
Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die."
So we see that, even in the Old Covenant before Christ's shed blood was offered, a provision for forgiveness was made.
In the New Testament, we read the following wonderful promise....
1 John 1:8-10- "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
It doesn't say that He will forgive us and cleanse us from SOME unrighteousness, but ALL unrighteousness.
Another point of the text that your JW co-worker is twisting, is that the specific sins being talked about, are mentioned just 3 verses down, in verse 29....
Hebrews 10:29- "Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?"
The entire context of this chapter, is about continuing our faith in Christ, and His finished work. And verse 29 makes it clear, that this is speaking of the ultimate rejection of the blood of Jesus Christ, and the counting of it as "unholy", which is an insult to the Spirit of God. In other words, if you reject the shed blood of Jesus Christ, then there is no other sacrifice for your sins, that will help you.
Now, let me make one thing clear about this verse of Scripture, however. It IS a dangerous thing, to willfully and intentionally, and continually, commit acts that we know are sinful. Like the many Scriptures that have been posted in address to the lies told by 3 select JWs here....If those individuals are told and warned of the Scriptural consequences of habitual lying, done intentionally for the motive of merely slandering those who do not agree with them, and they continue in that course of action, then they will be held accountable for it.
Lying is never okay, under any circumstances, no matter who it is that they are lying about.
Consider this lie from a post this morning, which I will not spend much time on refuting because its so ridiculous, but I will only mention it here, because its a bald-faced lie, told intentionally.
I quote from a post this morning...."If a little child is too young to accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, then Jesus will burn this child for an eternity without end."
Now, this is a known lie, told by a bald-faced liar. The same liar that said not too many weeks back, that the Baptist faith teaches that those who lived before Christ, such as Abel, are burning in the torments of Hell.
Now, of course, both statements are absurd, and are not the teachings of Baptists, or the Bible for that matter.
The only reason for lies like this, is because the person can't refute what we really DO believe, so he has to make up lies and fabrications, because those are the only arguments he has. But an argument based on a lie, is not even a valid argument.
I said all that, to say this...When a person rejects the shed blood of Christ as the ONLY atonement for his sins, and adds such works as belonging to an Organization, or even water baptism, then they are adding to the Gospel.
And when they continue in sinful practices such as intentional lying, or supporting those who they know are doing it, and they know full well what the Bible says about that, then they are showing extreme disregard for the commands of God, and they will have to answer for that.
That is what Hebrews 10:26 is teaching....NOT that some sins are "unforgivable". Those people could repent and find forgiveness in Christ today for their actions, if they had enough love for, and fear of God, to forsake their sin. They could find mercy. But when they place defending an Organization over obeying the commands of the inspired Word of God, then there will be a price to pay for that decision. It isn't something that God ever commanded them to do, and they do it at their own peril.
You wrote..."Really, I thought Jesus paid for all our sins."
He did. Every single last one of them! And when we accept His payment, by faith, then we are granted forgiveness, and HIS righteousness is credited to our account.
Romans 4:5-8- "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin."
Philippians 3:9- "And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:"
So yes, the verse DOES teach that rejecting the blood of Jesus Christ and counting it as "unholy", thereby insulting the Spirit of God, is a very serious matter, and that by doing so, we are negating the only sacrifice for our sins that can save us.
But it does NOT teach that "some sins are unforgivable". This passage does not teach that a person cannot repent, and come to faith in Christ. It merely warns of the consequences of refusing to do so.
In fact, this verse is a great passage to use, in a discussion on Hell. When you hear one of them start whining about how "unfair" and "unjust" Hell is, just point them to that verse, because it shows that God views sin quite a bit more harshly than they apparently do. And He takes it quite seriously, that He gave His only begotten Son for the sins of all mankind, and there are those who would be so foolish as to reject what He did for them. Its an insult to His undeserved offer of eternal life, as if it was somehow owed to us.
Your JW co-worker may not realize it, but by believing that his salvation is somehow tied in with belonging to this Organization, he is actually violating the very verse he quoted to you. The context of this verse is quite clear, that it is the blood of Christ alone, that is the sacrifice for our sins, and if we place anything else into the equation, then its an insult to Almighty God.
Your co-worker had better HOPE that this verse does not mean that if he ever commits an intentional sin, that he cannot be forgiven. If that's the case, he's in some real trouble, as are all the rest of us.
But the verse doesn't say anywhere, that "some sins are unforgivable". That is merely his twisting, and his imposing his own doctrine, into the text.
So, what did he say in response, when you mentioned to him about his willful lying? That would have been interesting to hear.
And besides, it sounds like he was saying that the "sin" of taking blood, was one of the "unforgivable sins". Funny, I don't recall reading that anywhere in the Bible. Did he give you a Scripture that would support this?
Somehow, I doubt it.
Take care, Kevin, and have a great evening.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Hello again Derrick.
You've actually touched on a subject I've been wondering about for years. The jws say that Jesus is the Son of God,that He shed His blood for us and He is the Messiah and Savior. However they only exercise faith in Him as a messenger and deny He is God. Where does that leave them when Jesus comes to judge the world,they seem to think they're saved.
Can one deny the deity of Christ and still be saved because they believe all His other attributes?
Good evening, Kevin. This is an interesting question you have asked. Its also a difficult one, and one that I'm not sure I can make a blanket statement across the board, to apply to all JWs. I think there might very well be some variance in this one.
You asked...."Can one deny the deity of Christ and still be saved because they believe all His other attributes?"
You know, this is a topic that I have been asked about before, and have even contemplated myself.
I received a question very similar to this one, several years back. It was from a lady who had lost her JW mother, and wanted to know if it was possible her mother was saved. Talk about a tough question to have to answer. My answer to your question, will be similar to what I told her.
Regrettably, I was unable to find the link to that question, but I remember it vividly. I did find this one, however.
As I stated in that link, I believe it is possible that SOME JWs, have been saved, but through various sets of circumstances, have gotten entangled into this religion. Perhaps they know better deep down, but remain inside, to appease family members, and avoid being shunned or cut off. Perhaps some have simply not been properly grounded in the Scriptures, and got swallowed up by the false teaching. I do not believe that the vast majority of them are saved, however.
Now specifically, you asked this...."Can one deny the deity of Christ and still be saved because they believe all His other attributes?"
Again, this question requires me to make a judgment that I am not sure I can make. Let me simply say this.....The Jesus of the Watchtower, is not the Jesus of the Bible. The Jesus of the Watchtower, is a created angel, and did not rise again in the flesh. The Jesus of the Bible is the Creator, became man, died, and rose again in the flesh. The Scripture could not be more clear about that.
On the other hand, the Bible does not make salvation a hard matter, thankfully. We are to believe on Jesus Christ, and fully trust in the blood He shed on the cross, as the full and final payment for our sin debt. By placing faith in Him, He becomes our Savior and Lord.
So, to give a short answer to your question, I would say "yes". However, that answer is not without some qualification. It depends on WHY you don't believe in the deity of Christ, that determines that answer. Is it because a person simply hasn't been taught the truth about it (as was my case when I got saved), or because they REFUSE to accept the Scriptural teaching, once they see what it is? That is the issue. If a person sees Scriptures that clearly show Jesus to be God in the flesh, then they are on dangerous ground in denying them. If person sees Scriptures that prove Jesus is not an angel, but rather, to be worshipped by all of the angels, and they continue to teach the lie that Jesus is an angel, then they are on dangerous ground. If they simply want to be saved and have Jesus as their Lord and Savior, and are truly sorry for their sins, then they can come to Christ and accept Him without an ounce of Scriptural knowledge, except for how to be saved. After they are converted, they can grow and learn the Scriptures, and the teachings it contains.
That was my own personal situation, and that is why I gave the answer of "yes", with some clarification. I had been raised and taught JW doctrine my entire life. When I first heard the Gospel as a 15 year old teenager, I responded to the invitation that night. I knew I was a sinner, and needed a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. At that time, I was not even considering everything else that the Bible taught about Him....only that He died in my place, and wanted me to be saved. I did not take a crash-course in theology, before getting saved. I just received Christ.
Now, for several months after that, I did not believe the Trinity doctrine. I had always been taught against it, and did not have enough Bible knowledge to see where I had been taught wrongly. I just figured that the people in my church who did think Jesus was God, were simply mistaken. I believed most everything else that they believed, but not this one. But it was as I grew in my walk with Him, and began to study the Scriptures and also Christian books about the JW faith, that I really started to deepen my understanding of just WHO the Bible teaches that Jesus is.
So, I do believe a person can be saved, without a pre-conceived belief in the Trinity, or even an understanding of the deity of Christ. I believe they can get saved, with even some wrong ideas about those topics. There is nothing in the Bible that requires us to have 100% perfect doctrine, before we can be saved. The Trinity and deity of Christ, certainly ARE Bible doctrines, but thankfully, God will hear our call on His name for salvation, even before we get all the rest figured out. Knowledge of doctrine comes as we study the Scriptures, and as we grow in our walk.
Now, contrary to the nonsense that Rando posts on this board by claiming that "Holland claims one must think of the Trinity to be saved"
(quoting from a Creed that he apparently thinks I wrote), there is no requirement given in the Scripture to get saved, other than to come to Christ. In all my years of ministering to people and praying with them when they desire to be saved, I have never once told a single person who wanted to know how to be saved, to "think of the Trinity". The Bible nowhere tells a new convert that before they can be saved, they must think of the Trinity, the 2nd coming of Christ, or any other Bible doctrine. The simply need to understand they are a sinner under the judgment of a holy God, and accept the payment that has been offered on their behalf.
Furthermore, I have never once heard anyone else in any church that I have been associated with, ever tell a single person who came forward for salvation, that they "must think of the Trinity to be saved". And I have only seen a few thousand examples of people wanting to be saved. So, I think I know a bit more about this topic, than Rando does.
Again, I think a person can get saved, without a full understanding of Christ's deity. But a person who truly HAS been saved, will not reject the Scriptural teaching when he comes face to face with it. Those who oppose it and twist the Scriptures in order to undermine it, I would not have much confidence that they have truly been saved.
I hope that answers the question somewhat.
Take care, and God bless.